Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review Mathers Last Secret

Mathers' Last Secret.
A few years ago, I met someone who tried to impress me with the documents that they had access to. One of the documents was a version of the Neophyte ritual. In order to protect their interests, the copy they showed me had large white blank spaces where some particularly sensitive information was. The person was disappointed because I expressed no interest in what they were concealing.

What they did not realize was that I knew what was in the blanked out sections. It turns out that they were trying to impress me with information that I already had seen through a membership in a previous group.

I wonder how this person reacted to the publication of Mathers' Last Secret, for the Neophyte ritual that they were trying to impress me with was a variation of the AO version (probably through the lineage of BOTA). Given the fact that a person like me had been exposed to the AO rituals before the publication of this book, I wonder how many groups were actually affected by this publication and how many people in them finally breathed a sigh of relief because they could now openly talk about the differences that exist in their rituals compared to the standard Regardie version.

(By "standard," I mean the set of rituals that everyone had access to already.)

Re-reading this book recently, I was stuck by the following statement made by Nick Farrell in the introduction.

The purpose of this book is not to bury the Alpha et Omega, but rather to encourage its development. There is material here which needs to evolve. By looking at it, meditating on it, and TRYING IT OUT the right people can make their own contacts and bring the Order to life in a meaningful way. It might draw some readers into those groups who are already using their own interpretations of the A.O. material. This is all for the good. Equally, it could be the inspiration for other groups to start using Mathers' Last Secrets.

Rather than using the system used in the Bristol Temple of the Stella Matutina, as set out in Regardie's Golden Dawn, the A.O. gives new groups a "new" flavour and approach. The aim of this book is to provide a basis for such a group to take its place alongside the Regardie-style Golden Dawn groups and those, such as the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea, which are inspired by Whare Ra [pages 21-22 hardcover edition].

(Note that this section may have jumped out at me just because of the debate over Farrell's purpose for publishing this book, and its companion book, King Over the Water.)

Interestingly, the group that is most famous for using one of the AO versions of the rituals (outside of BOTA whose rituals were modified by Paul Foster Case) ended up changing their rituals, so that they do not match this (or any other possible) publication. It makes for an interesting situation where the group that claims to have the best connection to the original AO is no longer even using an AO version of the Golden Dawn rituals. Anyone who actually wants to experience this version of the AO rituals is actually going to have to join a group without no connection to the original AO. (That is assuming that one believes that BOTA and its lineage is not actually an AO lineage.) While Farrell does not state what the "right people" are like, it is safe to assume that he does not endorse the trademark holder of the AO brand-name (if only because of the fact that they really do NOT get along).

(In all honesty, I would not be able to endorse the AO trademark holder either, and it is mainly because I have been called out repeatedly for having opinions that do not support their official Order line--hint: "diversity" and "independence" means that multiple opinions and methods can exist, not that they confirm to an unpublished set of rules made up by an invisible Order and their appointed leader.)

One of the big conversations about this book, and the Neophyte ritual that Mathers created for his Golden Dawn offshoot, has been about the shortcuts that Mathers says are permissible "[if] time be of some importance." Most of the Opening becomes optional, large parts of the lecture for the Grade, and even the "Admission ceremony" is optional. Basically, the only thing you cannot skip is the Oath of Obligation.

In other words, instead of not admitting an Neophyte until a full initiation ritual with a full Opening can be performed, a person could become a Neophtye by just paying their dues and committing to keep the AO secret and remaining loyal to Mathers. This reminds me of some of the fringe Freemasonry rituals that I have seen, where a person takes an oath and gets another honorary title to add to their collection.

And note that I consider this wrong, and I am the guy that argues that the system can be worked with just four people with no lineage at all (aka the Three Officer Version of the Neophyte ritual).

(By the way, in my universe, this is proof that none of the American membership had to travel overseas to recieve Temple initiations--in other words, the American lodges could have been started by people without no initiationary lineage to the AO. Note that this fact does not prove one way or another if the American AO started out as a correspondence school; it merely shows that it was possible for this to happen. It also might indicate that Westcott and Mathers did not think that undergoing the initiation rituals was necessary for advancement in the Order, and why they never undergone the initiation rituals of Golden Dawn themselves...I am still waiting to see proof that they did undergo the GD rituals.)

Does a regular member of the modern Golden Dawn need to buy this book? Probably not...unless they want to study what Mathers did after the Golden Dawn suffered the great Revolt of the Adepts. If you want to study and perhaps even experience these rituals, then this book is neccessary. For people not into collecting all the versions of the Golden Dawn rituals, you probably want to give this one a pass (it is just a set of rituals by Mathers and some comments by Farrell).

Mathers' Last Secret is available for purchase on Amazon.

[This book review was based on the hardcover edition, a copy which I paid full-price for on Amazon.]


dirkt said...

AC had good advice on rituals, I think:

"These rituals need not be slavishly imitated; on the contrary the student should do nothing the object of which he does not understand; also, if he have any capacity whatever, he will find his own crude rituals more effective than the highly polished ones of other people."

Liber O

Josef said...

Hi Morgan
On the AO blog Fra LES has stated that Mathers was expelled by the Third Order twice. He doesn't say from 'what' he was expelled - 2nd or 3rd Order. I imagine this has an important impact and implications or those claiming alleged lineage from Mathers.

I haven't started reading my copy of Bridge over Water, but is there anything in the book that speaks to this issue?

I'm particularly interested in the fact the Ahathoor No 7 recently closed down and the AO European HQ transferred to the USA. As yet no information about this matter appearson the AO website.

Speaking recently with some Parisian Freemasons they say that to affirm that one is associated with the French GD-AO is concidered a source of embarassment in esoteric circles. They cite the offical AO blog as a likely cause, with Ahathoor wanting to distance itself from the parent group especially because of the official public showing of the 0=0 video on YouTube. Alatheia had mentioned that another AO Temple had been set up to operate in Paris, but details at present seem very sketchy.

Best wishes


Josef said...

Seems thatI have opened up a Pandora's box.

Filtereing out the general flim flam and personal associations with Siths etc.. also I have never being a member of the SRIA or SRIAm we can pick up on a few points. Firstly, we're told that Ahathoor as the International Headquarters was closed and the HQ was trasferred to Frs LES Temple in USA. We're also told that "Ahathoor Temple no. 7 has suspended activity as Jean-Pascal Ruggiu is busy with another project. We will not revive that temple without his leadership our of respect for Jean-Pascal who remains an Adept in good standing in the AO, although he has stepped down from all leadership roles while developing a new order in France."

Then V.H. Soror S.L.V says "
The Ahathöor temple have moved to Montpellier," So I guess it's being revived without JPRuggiu. (one assumes this is out of respect for him...)

I speculate that there seems another schism is developing in the AO, and with Secret Chiefs still in France, they still feel that a European HQ should be in the USA (I find this as odd logic), rather than in Europe. Why not transfere the centre of authority to SR's Federation? Atleast his blog seems more mature of the two blogs and has a less infantile stance. Maybe LES wants to keep control for himself asdid MAthers?

Best wishes


Interesting history is being made here.

Josef said...

These are personal speculations, and in no way represent any one else, any other Order explicitly or otherswise implied by association, or by virtue of messages on their blogs or discussions forums.

It seems that Truth has very little meaning on the AO blog. My denial of membership to SRIA or SRIAm (because I don't belong to any Masonic Obedience recognised by the Grand Lodge of England) add also to that ORC, by a strange twist of logic means I am a member of these bodies. How might one then interpret the statement 'I am not a Secret Chief of the AO'. The mind boggles.

Trying to establish some historical information, whether the current modern 20th Centuary version Ahathoor Temple is in abeyance in Paris, or has now been moved to Montpelier and is/to be reactivated as suggested by the Cancellarius of that Temple. Is this with or without Jean Pascal Ruggui 'in the Chair'? Maybe the Imperator was not aware of the transfer of Ahthoor's location? That's the problem with having the European HQ in the USA rather than in Europe. As Ahathoor is the AO Mother Lodge, what might that mean if it is 're-activated' in South of France? Does the powerbase returns back to Europe from the USA, under the French Juristiction?

The I'm told on their blog that the internal affairs of the AO are NONE OF MY BUSINESS. Strange that one is inhibited from speculating on information made available to the Public Domain by LES and other adepts of the AO on the current Ahathoor situation. Those of us who have an interest in GD history, cannot avoid thinking about these developements, even though the AO may want them to disapear from the consciousness of the wider GD Community. One might then argue that what people write on other non-AO blogs is NONE OF AO's BUSINESS.

If we engage with AO we're called Trolls, Sith Lords, puppets of Dark Rosicrucians etc... If we ignore them they say "the Silence is Deafening". Sounds like a house divided, hence my speculation of an impemding schism emerging out of the AO Egregore.

Best wishes


Imperator David Griffin, Assuming the God Form of George Washington said...

We have replied to the misrepresentation of McKalikun on the Golden Dawn Blog, in the Breaking News section of the front page.

Have you guys not had enough yet?

20 years of non-stop misrepresentations about our order (all of this is archived on Yahoo and Google as proof) have never helped your cause, nor will they suddenly in the future either.

Morgan Eckstein said...

Griffin and HOGD/AO: And how exactly do you think that your misrepresentations of me and my motives are going to help you and your cause? -- Morgan

Josef said...

Usual previous disclaimer applies.

I'm using Morgan's blog because like many other GD practitioners we are banned from the AO blog and AO Yahoo group, because we express our own Independent thoughts, and because we also write on other GD fora. I don'twant to involve said fora because they have a policy of neutrality on such matters. Wisely so.

LES/Caput/Mortum/SV state that my 'misrepresentations' have repeated been answered. I have read yet again the Saga on the Front Page as invited, and as yet I cannot find the answer. So the question unaswered in a nutshell remains " Is Jean Pascal Ruggui still the 'Hierophant' when Ahathoor Temple of Paris moves to Montpelier in the South of France, and does the seat of power return back to the French Juristiction with the Mother Lodge, from its current temporary residency in the USA?

I notice that my posts are no longer copied onto the blog or the Yahoo forum. Could it be they don't want their own initiates to raise similar questions in their own temples? I would imagine that out of curiousity they know of the blogs of the wider GD community, and check will the comments out themselves.

All previously named Sith Lords have become 'esoterically' ipso facto 3rd Order members of the AO ad vitam ;-) To name us is to validate us as your Superiors. So say all of Us, especially the little green fellow with the bad grammer. ;-) Maybe I should deny that too... Anyway the secret is now out. ;-)

Sorry Morgan, the Sith Lords are taking over from the Cat people as SC of the GD. The Lizard people never really stood a chance. They did put up a good fight though. ;-)

Best wishes


Josef said...

At last it seems I have got my answer. Ahathoor Temple is moving to Montpelier without JPRuggiu in the chair. LES had said that Ahathoor woud not be activated without JPR as as repsect to him. Now this is done in fond memmory of Mathers instead.

I was going to ask "where is the European HQ now?", but decided to give up on this whole matter altogether.

Best wishes


Morgan Eckstein said...

The way I understand it is that they do not need an European HQ because they are an International Order--therefore, the whole system is based out of Nevada.

Josef said...

Usual disclaimer. Again some of my replies are not getting through.

On the AO blog
Imperator David Griffin, Assuming the God Form of George WashingtonJuly 29, 2012 2:27 AM
...putting silence to malicious gossip spread by SRIA troll McKalikun and his gossipy Freemasonic cronies in Paris.

V.H. Soror S.L.V.July 29, 2012 1:37 AM
Some people see the videos as a shame, i see them as a gift from a hardcore working temple of Golden Dawn Adepts.

Aletheia LVX July 29, 2012 4:33 AM
By nature the French Current values privacy very highly, and there are indeed those who were taken aback by the publication of the video. It was not the usual "French way" but it was a necessary step for Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

So both disagrees with LES and agree with my comments that a division regarding the YouTube video exists amongst the French Adepts. Yet I'm accused of spreading rumours trying to creat a schism even though it's already there. Two of the AO adepts publically confirming my speculations.

Caput MortuumJuly 29, 2012 4:45 AM
Sorry to disappoint you guys, but unlike you we give the honest answers then stick to them, so you will not catch us out changing our tune by this technique.

S.V.July 31, 2012 7:19 AM
Graciously, he was provided with an explanation regarding the matters he is attempting to fan into a flame.

-If I don't understand something because the explanation doesn't make sense, or is self contradictory (as above comments about the YouTube video creating a split), then I'm entitled to keep asking until it does make sense. Isn't that part of the the discipline of a Philosohus Grade,the use of philosophical enquiry and get behind the ideas presented in the Theoricus Grade.

Imperator David Griffin, Assuming the God Form of George WashingtonJuly 31, 2012 2:06 PM
what distinguishes the Initiates and Adepts of the AO is that we fight only in our defence, and even then, according to a highly spiritual code of CHIVALRY.

-Does this CHIVALRY include calling people abussive names, allying them with the KKK, Nazis, Siths Lords, Trolls etc.. Obviously this must be part of the advance Chivalric teachings with which I'm not familiar

Aletheia LVXAugust 1, 2012 5:32 AM
McK writes:

"I'm using Morgan's blog because like many other GD practitioners we are banned from the AO blog and AO Yahoo group, because we express our own Independent thoughts, and because we also write on other GD fora."

McK is a bare faced liar. Nobody is banned from either of those fora,
...That we might "ban" someone for the company they keep is a slur authored by McK here...

-Individual Communication
From: GH Frater LES
Sent: Saturday, 30 June 2012, 17:43
Subject: Message not approved: HGA

When Zalewski and Thibeault quit censoring all rebuttal from our members to their propaganda on their forum, your messages will once again be approved here. Until then, you might as well not even bother to try. There must be reciprocity.

-I still have the original email, and can provided Message Headers if anyone wants to check for authenticity.

Aletheia LVXAugust 1, 2012 5:51 AM
Since McK is accusing Alpha Omega of CENSORSHIP I am going to remind our readers of a little recent history. It nicely illustrates who likes to censor freedom of expression.

There was a lengthy exchange on the BullyBonds Blog, and I made a post there directed to Bonds. MirrorMax jumped all over me, then BullyBonds closed the thread.

-These sort of expletives are against the rules of netiquette and will get anyone's messages moderated out. This is in stark contrast to being moderated out because of association or writing on other fora as with the emai lfrom LES.

Josef said...


Aletheia LVX August 1, 2012 6:29 AM
McZ Notice how poor Pat gets dragged in. I replied that I was McK not McZ, but it never got through!!! the Sith Propagandist:

"I notice that my posts are no longer copied onto the blog or the Yahoo forum. Could it be they don't want their own initiates to raise similar questions in their own temples?"

We copy and answer what we consider relevant. !!!! McZ????

Aletheia LVX August 1, 2012 6:52 AM
McK: "All previously named Sith Lords have become 'esoterically' ipso facto 3rd Order members of the AO ad vitam ;-)To name us is to validate us as your Superiors. So say all of Us, especially the little green fellow with the bad grammer. ;-)"

Damn, how can you DARE to deny it?! - We all know that you ARE that little green fellow!

-I replied that the little Green Fellow was Yoda, Head of the Jedi Knights rather than of the Siths. It was moderated out.

Frater LUA August 1, 2012 9:22 AM
The strongest thing that the HOGD/AO has going for it is transperency. We don't hide and delete comments.

Aletheia LVX August 1, 2012 6:46 PM
McKalikun self-identifies as the little green man,

-Err,no,You made the link, see above.

Aletheia LVX August 1, 2012 8:06 PM
McK writes: "IN the original GD the Revolt of the Adepts was also under the watchful eye of the 3rd Order ... they allowed it"

So now SRIA McGD is accepting that the Third Order was present at that time, and overseeing the Order's evolution?

-Aletheia's original and my (moderated out) reply now seem to be missing from the blog. So shes's replying to something that is no longer there. Didn't Fra LUA say something about transparency and not deleting comments?

S.V.August 1, 2012 7:58 PM
@Josef Kalicun:

I give your credit for answering my question in an earlier post here, directly on this blog, rather than posting obliquely on another blog.

-unfortunately because some of my replies are either rebuttals or requests for clarity they get moderated out which distorts the flow of discussion. I was having the same problems on the AO Yahoo forum so just gave up using it. As you can see I've had to once again resort to someone else's blog, so that the 'fuller picture' can be seen and evaluated by the 'wide GD community' for which I do not speak for, although LES has 'made me President of such';-)

Nufff said,

Best wishes


Josef said...

What I have tried to show is that it is possible for GD practitioners to engage in non defensive, meaningful dialogue, without the need to resort to any abussive name calling style of language, or associate people or groups with unsavoury organisations. It is posible to explore difficult themes and ideas, piecemeal, through seeking clarification and getting to the kernel of policies, ideas, practices our own and other etc... If there is an openess of Spirit we can refine the Prima Materia, and get to the Essence of what it is that we think we are saying and decide if wish to continue believing it or not.

If the Third Order exists as a Marketing and Advertising Comporation, which of the two styles of rhetoric would they propose for their students to adopt to represent them in the world, and the best that the Golden Dawn including the Alpha et Omega, as well as other similar groups can offer.

I'll leave Morgan's blog readers for now to rest and recover. Sith Lord Darth Josef or am I Yoda in this scene, someone give me the correct script; returns batton back to Illustrious Grand Master Morgan of the Cat People ;-)


In LVX and best wishes